YOU(th) Decide: Local Agency Joins Forces with the NY Council on Problem Gambling

youth gambling stats

OSWEGO, NY – The County of Oswego Council on Alcoholism and Addictions Inc. has received funding from the New York Council on Problem Gambling to carry-out the YOU(th) Decide project in Oswego County.

COCOAA has been a part of this project for two years.

2015 marks the fourth year that the NY Council on Problem Gambling has given out mini-grants to local providers in an effort to prevent underage and problem gambling.

youth gambling statsIn New York State you must be at least 18 years of age to legally gamble.

However, the most recent research indicates that among United States youth between the ages of 14 and 21, 68% have gambled in the past year, and 11% have gambled twice a week or more.

Of those youth, 6.5% are at-risk for, or have already developed, a gambling problem (Welte, 2007).

Underage gambling brings with it a number of negative consequences, many of which are serious, and can be devastating to the youth as well as his/her family and friends.

The younger an adolescent begins gambling, the more likely he/she is to develop a gambling addiction.

Underage gamblers are at an increased risk of delinquency and crime, damaged relationships and poor academic performance (Wynne et al., 1996).

Youth who gamble are also more likely than their non-gambling peers to develop mental health issues including depression and alcohol/substance abuse disorders (Hardoon et al, 2002), to attempt suicide (Gupta and Derevensky, 1998), and to maintain poor general health (Potenza et al, 2002).

Underage gambling is a public health issue.

There is no one person, or group of people, who are affected by underage gambling.

There is no one risk factor or protective factor that plays a role in underage gambling.

There is no one strategy that will, alone, prevent underage gambling.

A variety of strategies targeted at all levels of impact is the only effective way to prevent and de-normalize underage gambling.

YOU(th) Decide is designed to be a multi-dimensional prevention effort aimed at reducing underage gambling.

Local providers participating in the 2015 YOU(th) Decide Project will use the funds to conduct face-to-face educational sessions with youth, work with local community leaders to decrease the availability of gambling at family and youth-focused events, and will conduct media and outreach campaigns.

COCOAA is currently looking for groups/organizations that are willing to give up one gambling centered activity in support of the YOU(th) Decide Project.

If you, your group/organization, or your child, would like to learn more about YOU(th) Decide, or would like to get involved, please contact Karyn Grow or Sarah Hartman at:  The County of Oswego Council on Alcoholism and Addictions Inc. (315) 342-2370 or [email protected]

The New York Council on Problem Gambling is a not-for-profit independent corporation dedicated to increasing public awareness about problem and compulsive gambling and advocating for support services and treatment for persons adversely affected by gambling.

The council maintains a neutral stance on gambling and is governed by a board of directors.

Find out more at www.YOUthDecide.org